The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 27, 2012

Jefferson vandals do $75,000 in damage on street

Trees, Halloween displays, mailboxes and more targeted on North Chestnut Street

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Someone took a hatchet, walked along North Chestnut Street and hacked several trees Thursday night, leaving village officials and residents upset by the destruction.

When Village Administrator Terry Finger arrived at work Friday morning, he couldn’t believe the havoc the vandals had caused: several tree trunks were slashed, a small tree was chopped down, barrels toppled, mailboxes smashed, benches tipped over, items from Halloween displays stolen and many political signs were pulled up or  demolished.

Finger said the damage came to more than $75,000.

A hatchet is suspected, rather than a machete or axe, because a hatchet was stolen from a North Chestnut Street resident’s Halloween display, Finger said.

Police are not commenting, only to say the incidents are “under investigation,” Jefferson Village Police Department Deputy Chief Dave Wassie said.

Finger said earlier Thursday evening, a group of people were soliciting magazines door-to-door, claiming to be working towards an all-expense-paid trip.

When they came to his door, he asked them if they got a permit. The leader of the group said that they had gotten a permit.

Finger then revealed that he was the village administrator and he knew they had not gotten a permit. He called the police. Come to find out, the man was wanted in Indiana for theft.

Police arrested the man and he’s in jail, Finger said.

Police also are investigating the soliciting incident.

Anyone with information on the vandalism or the solicitation, should call the village police at 440-576-0010.